United States of America

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Student life at Heriot-Watt

Following a tradition of strong historic links between the US and Scotland we are delighted to welcome applications from US students who are keen to experience life in Scotland’s capital city.

Heriot-Watt is a great place to live and learn, and is home to an active student union, first-class sports and recreation facilities, and while of course we have our own University Pipe Band, we also have an American Football Team!

We currently have many students from the US studying with us at our Edinburgh Campus and over 200 students from the US studying with us on transnational programmes.

Popular programmes

Previous US students have studied:

Study Abroad at Heriot-Watt

Visiting students from the US can spend either an academic year or semester studying at Heriot-Watt. Students from any university can apply. Please see our pages for visiting students for further information.

Meet our graduates from United States of America

Our San Francisco Bay area Watt Club is led by Ron Leckie and Ian Myles and they are just in the process of starting activity. Going forward they plan to hold events in the area. There is a LinkedIn group, a Facebook group and a Shutterfly page.

Our US alumni include professionals in Coors Brewing Company, the Art Institute of Colorado, Dow Jones & Company, Chevron USA and Johnson & Johnson USA, amongst others.

Davis Miller

Read the student profile of Davis from Massachusetts, USA, who studied Chemical Engineering at our Edinburgh Campus for a semester. Davis travelled from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst as part of the Study Abroad programme.

Entry requirements

These entry requirements are intended as a guide only. Please contact us or the School's admissions tutor to find out the actual requirements for the programme you want to study.



Year 1 entry

  • A completed High School Diploma with a combined SAT I score of 1800 (with no less than 550 in each section) if taken before March 2016, or a score of 1250 (with no less than 550 in each section) if taken in March 2016 or after. We will be happy to accept an ACT score of 26 (or above) in place of the SAT I test. We also require 1 from the following alongside the SAT I or ACT:
    • 2 individual SAT II subject tests of 600 or above making a total score of 1200 or above (out of a possible 2400 for the new SAT test, which includes a writing test); or
    • minimum of 2 AP subjects at a minimum of Grade 4 (or as equivalent to the published UCAS tariff points)

Year 2 entry 

  • SAT I score of 1800 (minimum of 600 in each section) if taken before March 2016, or a score of 1200 (with no less than 600 in each section) if taken in March 2016 or after, a completed High School Diploma plus 1 from the following:
    • a score of 600+ in at least 3 SAT II subjects; or
    • at least three “Group A” AP subjects at a minimum of Grade 4 (or as equivalent to the published UCAS tariff points); or
    • a combination of APs at Grade 4 minimum and SAT IIs at 600+ in at least 3 different subjects.
  • In exceptional circumstances, we will consider a minimum score of 30 in the ACT as an alternative to SAT I.
  • Successful completion of the first year of a US university degree.
  • Associate Degree with a minimum of 3.25 GPA and a good match of courses. (In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to offer access to Year 3.)


  • For most of our Masters level programmes we require a good first degree with a GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 (or equivalent) or above in a relevant subject.
  • For PhD study a Masters level qualification from a good university is normally be required. Applicants should also demonstrate some form of research experience.

English language requirements

If you do not meet our English language requirements, you can apply to one of our academic English programmes, which are specifically designed to prepare you with the language and study skills needed for academic study.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are listed alongside each programme in the online prospectuses.

Tuition fees are higher for international students. If you are unsure what your residency status is, you can complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess whether you have a relevant connection to the UK that might positively influence your fee status:

Learn more about applying for student support in Scotland.

Scholarships and bursaries

At Heriot-Watt we believe that a university education is an investment in your future. That is why we offer a generous package of scholarships to encourage and support well qualified, ambitious students to come and study with us. See the full list of scholarships that you may be eligible to apply for.

The following scholarships are available to students from the USA who choose to study at Heriot-Watt Univeristy's UK campuses:

Federal loans

To cover the costs of your tuition fees, accommodation fees and other expenses, you can apply for a federal loan from Stafford and Plus. (Stafford and Plus Loans are the only federal funds that can be used to study at a foreign school.) More information about federal loans is available on the Student Aid website.

You can apply for a federal loan by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online on the Federal Student Aid website. Heriot-Watt is a FAFSA-approved institution; our school code is: G22739  

By completing the FAFSA you will create a Student Aid Report (SAR). Once you have received your SAR please email it to us with your details at usastudentaid@hw.ac.uk

VA Funding

If you are eligible, and considering using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, or similar to fund your studies at Heriot-Watt, you should email studywithus@hw.ac.uk. This will allow us to process the paperwork required. You should be able to use VA Funding for any programme here at Heriot-Watt.

Our representatives in United States of America

We work with approved representatives in United States of America who can help you apply and enrol on your chosen programme. Find your nearest representative

Visa and immigration information

Please see our International Student Advisors Office (ISAO) website for information and guidance on:

Key information

Anna West

Key fact

There are direct trans-Atlantic flights between Scotland and the US making it incredibly easy to travel between the two countries. The city of Edinburgh is twinned with San Diego